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Mt Rushmore to Yellowstone

United States

Mt Rushmore to Yellowstone

Start: Denver
End: Jackson Hole

Journey from South Dakota to Yellowstone National Park on this tour of America’s northwest

LocationUnited States
Duration10 days
Start / EndDenver / Jackson Hole
Tour operatorIntrepid Travel

United States

Mt Rushmore to Yellowstone

10 days·Intrepid Travel
Start: Denver
End: Jackson Hole


Get back to nature and take in some of America’s stunning, rugged and majestic national parks. Starting in the 'Mile-High City' of Denver, head to South Dakota’s bizarre and beautiful Badlands National Park and then on to the historic mining town of Deadwood. Get up close and personal with past presidents at Mt Rushmore, check out the enormous work-in-progress at Crazy Horse and drive across Wy...

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Day 1Denver
Welcome to the USA. On arrival, join your group for a welcome meeting at 6 pm. Please ask reception where it will take place. We'll be collecting insurance details and next of kin information at this meeting, so ensure you bring these details to provide to your leader. If you're going to be late, please inform hotel reception. Your evening is then free to do as you wish. If you arrive in Denver earlier in the day, perhaps take a walk to the impressive building of the Colorado State Capitol.
Day 2Custer
Leaving Denver in the morning, today will see you drive across the country for around six to seven hours to the town of Custer. En route, we stop at the Mammoth Site, an active palaeontological dig site where over 60 mammoth skeletons have been found. We'll watch a short video before taking a guided tour around the site, where you can see the palaeontologists at work. You should arrive into Custer in the early evening. Once you're settled into your hotel, the evening is free to explore. You'll be spending the next two nights in Custer.
Day 3Mt Rushmore/Crazy Horse National Monument/Wind Cave Nation Park/Custer
Today, drive out to explore some of South Dakota's highlights. Discover one of the longest and most complex caves in the world at Wind Cave National Park. See the famous sculptures of former presidents that are carved into the face of Mount Rushmore and visit the nearby Crazy Horse National Monument, a giant Native American Indian sculpture in progress. Learn about the incredible Mission of Crazy Horse Memorial Foundation and the work they are doing to protect and preserve the culture, tradition and living heritage of the Native American Indians. Admissions support advancements in Mountain carving, the museums, and the developing of Indian University of North America. After a long day of sightseeing, head back to Custer for the night. Today's total driving time will be around four hours.
Day 4Badlands National Park/Deadwood
This morning, journey into Badlands National Park for a driving tour. Named 'mako sica' (which translates to 'land bad') by Native Americans, the national park protects the country's largest prairie grasslands, several species of mammal (including bison and the black-footed ferret), prairie falcons and snakes. In the afternoon, continue on to the National Historic Landmark of Deadwood. Settled illegally by gold rushers in the 1870s, its streets are lined with old buildings that have since been restored with gambling dollars. It's a fun place to spend a night, with a whole street full of authentic saloons, gaming halls and casinos.
Day 5Cody
In the morning, take the long drive across the border into Wyoming and on to Cody (approximately 6-7 hours). Named after its legendary founder, Buffalo Bill Cody, the town is full of wild west adventure. With its reenactments of famous shoot-outs and restored frontier buildings, Cody attracts tourists and cowboys alike. This evening perhaps visit Dan Miller's Cowboy Music Revue to see a western-style variety show.
Day 6Yellowstone National Park
Drive into Yellowstone National Park this morning for your first taste of the park's immense alpine forests, mountains and rivers. There will be a decent amount of time to explore today. In the evening, stay in the small town of West Yellowstone.
Day 7Yellowstone National Park
Head out on a wolf-tracking excursion with a local guide early (approx 5am) this morning. Since wolves were reintroduced to Yellowstone Park, their population has flourished. With the help of an expert who'll have a radio to communicate with other explorers, your chances of seeing a wolf dramatically increase. As you are searching for wolves in the wild, there are of course no guarantees, but you're sure to have an amazing day anyway.
Day 8Yellowstone National Park
Today will be spent taking a driving tour of Yellowstone National Park. See all of the park's main highlights, such as lakes, waterfalls and hot geysers (including the famous Old Faithful). If you're lucky enough you may even come across a herd of bison. Head back to your cabin in the evening for your last night in the area.
Day 9Grand Tetons/Jackson
After breakfast at the cabin, drive through the Grand Teton mountains on the way to Jackson (approximately 3-4 hours). This national park is one of America's finest and is a hiker's paradise. Less crowded than Yellowstone, the Tetons exude a sense of tranquillity, and are home to wildlife such as bears, moose, grouse and marmots. Continue on to the former outlaw hideout of Jackson, where you'll have plenty of time to explore. The afternoon and evening are free to do as you wish.
Day 10Jackson
Your trip finishes after breakfast today. There are no more activities planned and you're free to depart at anytime. If you have extra time in Jackson, see the list of optional activities below for some suggestions of things to do.

More info

Last modified (date)

23 Jan 2019

Trip title

Mt Rushmore to Yellowstone

Trip code



Validity: 01 Jan 2019 to 31 Dec 2019


Get back to nature and take in some of America’s stunning, rugged and majestic national parks. Starting in the 'Mile-High City' of Denver, head to South Dakota’s bizarre and beautiful Badlands National Park and then on to the historic mining town of Deadwood. Get up close and personal with past presidents at Mt Rushmore, check out the enormous work-in-progress at Crazy Horse and drive across Wyomi... Read more






Private vehicle

Physical Rating


Physical preparation

We recommend that you undertake regular aerobic exercise in the weeks before you travel, particularly if you are not in the habit of regular exercise. Walking, jogging, swimming or riding a bike are all good ways to increase your aerobic fitness, which will allow you to enjoy the trip to its fullest. Many of the National Parks that we visit have hiking opportunities where walks of up to 4 hours c... Read more

Joining point

Quality Inn & Suites Denver International Airport

Finish point

Mountain Modern Motel

Group leader

Your leader will provide basic information about the sights and cities you'll be visiting but please note that our leaders are not 'tour guides' in the traditional sense. They are adventure travel specialists and are there to organise your trip, arrange activities and help with questions or problems you may have while on your tour. Your leader will provide you with all the important information yo... Read more


Many national governments provide a regularly updated advice service on safety issues involved with international travel. We recommend that you check your government's advice for their latest travel information before departure and ensure that your travel insurance covers you for all areas your itinerary covers. Please refer to our website's safety page for links to major travel advisories and upd... Read more


WIFI Our vans in the USA are equipped with free WiFi however a fair use policy applies. It is limited to 5 users at one time, and is suitable for updating your Facebook status or sending an email home - not for streaming video or radio. Please be considerate of your use so that there is enough to go around. Most hotels have WiFi access although on occasion you may need to pay extra for it. CHARGI... Read more


Visas are the responsibility of the individual traveller. Entry requirements can change at any time, so it's important that you check for the latest information. Please visit the relevant consular website of the country or countries you’re visiting for detailed and up-to-date visa information specific to your nationality. Your consultant will also be happy to point you in the right direction with ... Read more

Why we love it

Journey across three states of America, starting in Colorado's capital of Denver and finishing in the former outlaw town of Jackson, Wyoming

Is this trip right for you

There are a couple of really long driving days on this trip, especially from Denver to Custer and then from Custer to Cody. The trip has been broken up as much as possible, with a couple of two- or three-night stopovers in some locations, so you'll have plenty of time to rest. You'll be travelling in a van with a group of travellers, so conditions may feel a little cramped. This is all part of th... Read more


All travellers need to be in good physical health in order to participate fully on this trip. When selecting your trip please make sure you have read through the itinerary carefully and assess your ability to cope with our style of travel. Please note that if, in the opinion of our group leader or local guide, any traveller is unable to complete the itinerary without undue risk to themselves and/o... Read more

Food and dietary requirements

While travelling with us you'll experience the vast array of wonderful food available in the world. Your group leader will be able to suggest restaurants to try during your trip. To give you the maximum flexibility in deciding where, what and with whom to eat, generally not all meals are included in the trip price. This also gives you more budgeting flexibility. As a rule our groups tend to eat to... Read more

Money matters

It can be difficult to exchange money while on the road so we suggest that you bring some cash in US dollars, or exchange/withdraw money at the airport when you arrive, or at least before you start the trip. Your individual budget will depend on your personal plans. Think about how much you want to spend on souvenirs, shopping, entertainment, food, drinks, excursions and attractions that aren't i... Read more

What to take

LUGGAGE RESTRICTIONS: All luggage is carried in trailers or inside the vehicle so please don't bring more than one medium sized bag, backpack or suitcase (20kg maximum) per person. Your suitcase/rucksack may get some rough handling, so make sure it's a tough one. A small daypack and camera may also be carried inside the vehicle.

Climate and seasonal

NATIONAL HOLIDAYS: The following national holidays are observed in the US, which can affect our itinerary as traffic can be extreme, and shops, restaurants and attractions can be closed: - New Year's Day - Birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr. - Washington's Birthday - Memorial Day - Independence Day - Labor Day - Columbus Day - Veterans Day - Thanksgiving Day - Christmas Day

A couple of rules

Everyone has the right to feel safe when they travel. We don’t tolerate any form of violence (verbal or physical) or sexual harassment, either between customers or involving our leaders, partners or local people. Sexual relationships between a tour leader and a customer are strictly forbidden. Use or possession of illegal drugs will not be tolerated on our trips. If you choose to consume alcohol... Read more


After your travels, we want to hear from you! We rely on your feedback. We read it carefully. Feedback helps us understand what we are doing well and what we could be doing better. It allows us to make improvements for future travellers.

Emergency contact

While we always endeavour to provide the best possible holiday experience, due to the nature of travel and the areas we visit sometimes things can and do go wrong. Should any issue occur while you are on your trip, it is imperative that you discuss this with your group leader or our local representative straight away so that they can do their best to rectify the problem and save any potential nega... Read more

Responsible travel

We believe strongly in low impact or rather positive impact tourism. Broadly speaking this means that we try to minimise the negative aspects of tourism on the local cultures and environments that we visit and highlight the positive aspects. Please visit our website for further details and suggestions on how you can be a responsible traveller. Read more

The Intrepid Foundation

Help us change thousands of lives by creating meaningful work and supporting skills training in communities around the world. The Intrepid Foundation is the not-for-profit for Intrepid Group. We work with local organisations around the world to improve the livelihoods of vulnerable individuals and communities through sustainable travel experiences. With our travellers’ help, we’ve contributed mo... Read more

Accommodation notes

The style of accommodation indicated in the day-to-day itinerary is a guideline. On rare occasions, alternative arrangements may need to be made due to the lack of availability of rooms in our usual accommodation. A similar standard of accommodation will be used in these instances. Throughout the trip we request that our lodgings prepare rooms in time for our arrival, especially if we're arriving... Read more

Transport notes

FLEET Our large fleet of vans are fully equipped with dual air-conditioning system, V8 engines and any camping or cooking equipment needed for your trip. Most have cloth-upholstered seats and carpeted interior with radio/tape or CD players. Your baggage is transported in a trailer which is towed behind the van. The vans are regularly serviced in our own maintenance facility and continuously check... Read more

Travel insurance

Travel insurance is compulsory for all our trips. We require that, at a minimum, you are covered for medical expenses including emergency repatriation. We strongly recommend that the policy also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects. When travelling on a trip, you won't be permitted to join the group until evidence of travel insurance and th... Read more

Your fellow travellers

As you travel on a group trip you will be exposed to all the pleasures and maybe some of the frustrations of travelling in a group. Your fellow travellers will probably come from all corners of the world and likely a range of age groups too. We ask you to be understanding of the various needs and preferences of your group - patience with your fellow travellers is sometimes required for the benefit... Read more

Itinerary disclaimer

ITINERARY CHANGES: Our itineraries are updated regularly throughout the year based on customer feedback and to reflect the current situation in each destination. The information included in this Essential Trip Information may therefore differ from when you first booked your trip. It is important that you print and review a final copy prior to travel so that you have the latest updates. Due to weat... Read more


Cabin (5 nts),Hotel (4 nts)
€3,055per person
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May 23
Jackson Hole
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Jun 27
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